Letters to the Editor: Aug. 27, 2010

Letter of the Day: Our very foundation

Editor, Daily News:

Ben Bova’s column on a society heading toward illiteracy is troubling.

Already 23 million people in the United States are functionally illiterate, unable to fill out a form, read a prescription, understand the law, know workplace rights or read road signs. Some don’t even know how to hold a pencil.

There are literacy organizations all over the country with volunteers who faithfully tutor those who hunger for the ability to read.

Right here in Naples, for over 25 years, there has been an organization dedicated to this mission — Literacy Volunteers of Collier County (262-4448).

Reading is a function of life; it is a survival tool. It enriches our lives.

Though Kindles and Nooks may be with us, I suspect they will never replace the book.

To hold a book, turn the page, to see beyond is truly a wonder.

— Judy Peterson


Poor choice for dance date

Editor, Daily News:

I have just confirmed something my daughter told me: Barron Collier High School has scheduled its homecoming dance for the night of Sept. 11.

This date cannot be the only one available to the school. To say that it is inappropriate is to fall far short of the mark.

The family of my college classmate who perished that awful day back in 2001 will not be celebrating that night, nor will my former co-worker whose fireman brother died helping others in the north tower. The Collier County school district administration has already shown a willful indifference to the sensibilities of those who wish to support their football teams but also to celebrate the Jewish High Holy Days, so I should not be surprised that the feelings of all Americans who will be observing the saddest day of the calendar also weigh nothing in the balance.

I hope that this is a situation that can be corrected.

— Timothy S. O’Neil


She dared to try

Editor, Daily News:

To those who are not aware, Lavigne Kirkpatrick was unable to secure her position as the next District 4 Collier County commissioner.

Although the figures show she won the early voter and actual election day voices, she was unable to capture the absentee voices of District 4! This was a clear indication, which I have personally addressed from the get-go, how the absentee-voter option can and will decide an outcome of an election!

Due to the reality that these voters are not aware, nor involved with the daily and ongoing issues in their district, it had a direct impact on the majority of the residents and their quality of life in District 4 and the entire county.

I want to personally thank all of my dear, dear friends who respected my choice to focus this past year on committing my time to Kirkpatrick’s campaign and thus limited my personal availability.

It was an amazing learning experience, which allowed me an opportunity to learn, listen and understand how imperative it is to sacrifice a season in our lives to reach out and try to make a sincere difference.

So, huge kudos to Kirkpatrick, who took on a challenge with a righteous belief of character and integrity to improve an environment that has shackled the American dream for the vast majority, not only the residents of District 4, but all the residents of Collier.

— Adele Amico


All about the team

Editor, Daily News:

Running for office is not about the candidate; it is about the team.

I was fortunate to have been surrounded by many talented and generous people during this primary election cycle. Being a candidate means working at it every day, listening every day and getting up every day to do it all over again. I could have never done any of this without my family and support team.

To my wife and daughter, thank you for supporting me, helping me and making the sacrifices it took to come this far — to a Nov. 2 runoff.

To my team members and supporters, you guys rock!

Success is best defined as that moment when opportunity meets preparedness. Together, with all of our combined talent and resources, we can move forward and work for positive change that will benefit our children and this community.

I also salute all of those who ran for office. We are a better community for what you have all done.

Game on!

— Joe Whitehead


Candidate, District 5,

Collier County School Board

Thanks, and back to work

Editor, Daily News:

I would like to express my appreciation to all those contributors, voters and campaign workers who helped re-elect me to the Collier County Commission.

I would also like to thank the members of the Daily News editorial board for their endorsement. I will do my best to justify your confidence in me.

I am anxious to continue work on our mutual goals of restoring our economy, creating new jobs and making sure Collier County remains a wonderful place to live, work and play.

For those who opposed me, I look forward to demonstrating that I will fairly represent the interests of all our residents and visitors.

— Fred Coyle


District 4, Collier County commissioner

Monopoly on morality?

Editor, Daily News:

I agree that giving Collier County’s middle- and high-school students uncoerced access to moral teachings has value — especially with all the financial uncertainty and moral ambiguity around us.

But if Jerry Rutherford, president of the World Changers of Florida, is to have a table with Judeo-Christian Bibles free for the taking, won’t this obligate the school system to allow Rasim Kut, president of the Islamic Center of Naples, to offer the Quran, and the Ayn Rand Society for Individual Rights of Naples to offer Rand’s “The Virtue of Selfishness” as well?

— Kathryn Eickhoff-Smith


‘That’s bogus’

Editor, Daily News:

I am dismayed and angered over the position New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has taken toward the building of a mosque in the shadows of the twin towers site. The unsaid purpose of selecting this location is clearly an in-your-face insult to the families of those thousand of victims lost in that unforgivable tragedy. Think of Spain’s Alhambra, the Moors’ celebration of their Muslim conquest.

The mayor claims to be protecting religious freedom. That’s bogus. We know because New York City has never persecuted Muslims nor interfered with the practice of their religion. Build your mosque — just not there.

Perhaps the mayor is worried about his company’s business involvement in the Middle East. Bloomberg L.P. has a lot to lose if he suddenly becomes a target of their jihad.

Two foolish New York politicians, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer and U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, have echoed Bloomberg’s position. Consider this: The light of truth has rarely emanated from a politician.

Reality is the mosque will not be built. Nothing gets built in New York without employing the construction unions and without cooperation from the N.Y. police and fire departments. If Bloomberg muscles through building permits and construction does begin, I expect to see significant sabotage every step of the way. If by a miracle the mosque is completed, do not be surprised if some enraged nutcase drives a truck loaded with explosives through the front door.

My advice to Mayor Bloomberg: Put on a wash-and-wear suit whenever you leave City Hall. Eggs and rotten tomatoes will stain.

— Howard Giordano


What I have learned

Editor, Daily News:

I learned a wonderful lesson through the past few months.

That is, as a candidate for the Collier County School Board, District 1, I learned there are countless serious and thoughtful citizens out there who relish the opportunity to engage in discussion of the key issues faced by our school system. These are people who see festering problems across the district and express firm belief that the system’s top leadership has done too little to resolve them.

Time after time, I found myself listening to citizens asking well-thought-out questions and making interesting suggestions about ways in which the School Board and the superintendent could improve their performance. These weren’t cynical, argumentative voters. Just the opposite. They were engaged citizens searching for good answers to just how Collier County can go about improving the educational opportunities it offers its children.

This was, all in all, an uplifting experience for me. My thanks to the many individuals who allowed me to participate in these exchanges with them and to the many more who I know will do so with me and with other candidates between now and the November general election.

— Rosanne L. Winter, Ph.D.


Who’s who in judge race

Editor, Daily News:

I want to sincerely thank all my loyal supporters for helping me achieve a November runoff bid for Lee County judge against Frank Mann Jr., the mediator.

I promise to continue to work especially hard to re-earn their votes, the votes of my previous opponents — attorneys Robert Branning and David Shestokas — as well as those among the 79 percent eligible to vote who did not participate this time around.

I again welcome everyone to compare my qualifications — 22 years of courtroom experience, passion for the law and background — with that of my runoff opponent.

Since Tuesday’s 21 percent primary election turnout and results, I must admit several people have approached me to congratulate my campaign and to question why Commissioner Frank Mann was also running for Lee County judge. I was stunned and had to politely explain that Commissioner Mann is not running for Lee County judge, but rather his son, Frank Jr., the mediator, was actually my opponent.

The surprised look on their faces communicated a thousand words.

Our task is now well-defined. We must continue to educate and inform Lee voters that the Group 3 county judge race is between me, Miguel Fernandez, the trial attorney, vs. Frank Mann Jr., the mediator.

— Miguel C. Fernandez III

Fort Myers

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